Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Good News 020420 Stress 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving,
present your requests to God"
(Philippians 4:6NIV). 

            Stress is becoming an American, if not a worldwide tradition; part of our lifestyle. We often go through our week wound up like a rubber band that has been twisted tighter and tighter. However, we all recognize that the rubber band eventually breaks when it is wound too tight or stressed too long; it snaps! We are certainly a higher life form than a rubber band; however are we also may snap when over stressed.
                        We all need a way of unwinding during the most stressed of times. Mine is by writing "Good News" to people that I care about. Yours may be different; many exercise, some use meditation, often we a chat with a friend or read. There are many ways to release stress. In Paul's writings to the Philippians 4: 8 & 9, he suggests that Faith is a tool to help us. 

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—
put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." 

Focus for Today: Today let us focus selfishly on ourselves. Let's feel the peace and presence of God in our lives. When the "stress monster" wants to control our lives, let's read this passage and let "the peace of God" into our lives. As Christians we deserve peace. 

Prayer for Today:  Heavenly father, the world seems to be a breeding ground for stress. Everywhere we look there is something to worry about; terror, hate, employment troubles, stock market woes- even severe weather. Today we pray that we may keep you and peace in our thoughts, that we have the presence of mind to make wise choices and release our stresses to find tranquility.




Friday, July 26, 2013

Happiness Is….!

Thought for Today:  Be Happy!
Allen Wallace says happiness is: 

“Genuine Happiness is gained not through the outer conquest of nature or the acquisition of wealth and fame, but through the conquest of our inner obscuration and the realization of the natural resources inherent in our hearts and minds.” 

Paul said it also:

"A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his
work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find
enjoyment. To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, power and happiness,
but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth..."
(Ecclesiastes 2:24-26).
Allen Wallace, PHD is a progressive scholar and
a prolific writer and translator of Tibetan Buddhism.
Used with permission.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our Shield!

"The Lord is my strength and my shield.
 My heart trusts in him and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song."
 (Psalm 28:7)

    Is there joy in our lives? Let us face it; most of us have a lot more joy (positives) than negatives. Our family, friends and associates are sources of great joy. It is summer and the grass is green; the warm days are relaxing, vacation time is special and our gardens are productive. It is easy to see this kind of joy.

    In today’s world a lot of people have a problem seeing the joys in their lives. Several of my good friends are still in career crises. Two others are battling cancer. There are always two sides to our lives. When we are down and fighting battles it is important to remember the Lord and his place in our lives. As Paul said to the Romans (15:13); "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

    Yes, in our lives there are physical and emotional joys. Our surroundings and life styles generate them. The real joy, however, comes through our Christian beliefs. It is this belief that gives us the "strength" and "shield" mentioned by the Psalmist above...

Thought for the Week: Let us keep joy at the forefront of our thoughts. When we are challenged with life, let's put up our shield.

Prayer for the Week: Heavenly Father, many of our friends are fighting battles. Illness, unemployment, unwanted career changes and many others. We pray for them to understand your strength and love. We pray that they may find the joy that is only available through trust in you.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Value Added!

Thought for Week: This week we will have battles we do not expect. With God’s help, let us be winners no matter which way the battle turns out! Plus: We have the parts and the image to be of value. Enjoy your week! 

From Reverend Michael Miller: “…My theology and values are centered on the conviction that because we are created in the image of God, each of us is valued and has deep within us the potential to reflect the goodness and beauty of our Creator. Therefore, being of Norwegian or German descent, African or Korean, tall or short, gay or straight, rich or poor is not a determining factor in our worth as a human being. We are valued because we are created in the image of God.”

Michael Miller is a retired Methodist Minister in Minnesota.
This is used with his permission.
Note: Mike is my spiritual advisor and blessed friend. 

(Psalm 139 vs. 13 & 14)
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
(Psalm 139 vs. 13 & 14)


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Let's Talk- Share Your Faith!

Good News 020806- Let's Talk 

“You must go to everyone I send you to
and say whatever I command you.”
(Jeremiah 1vs7) 

            The city of Boston has a public area called Boston Commons. It is a central park that was set up as a common grazing ground for city owned live stock. I believe that even today, all Boston residents have the legal right to graze their cow on “the common”.
            “The Common” is now and always was a meeting place where people meet to discuss the issues of the day. It still serves that function today. There are people on every corner, some literally standing on soap boxes, discussing everything from gay issues to the mid-east. In fact, you can generally find a “talker” that is representing your ideas no matter what you feel.
            The most common subjects the talkers address are issues of faith. There will be conservatives on one corner and liberals on the next using the same Bible passages to reinforce their beliefs. Often, they engage their audience in debates that may be very intense. “The Boston Common Talkers” represent America’s free speech at its finest.
Most of us shy away from publicly sharing our faith with others. Jesus clearly wants us to share but we generally do not have the confidence to speak out in public. We need to realize that we need to share and “…say whatever I command you.” 

Thought for Today: Today, let us all look for a chance to tell someone about our faith. Let us invite some one to share, someone we may help and possibly even invite them to join us at a service.  

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father today I pray for the strength to do your will here on earth. I pray that I may share my story of my life with You with someone.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Love with your Heart; Live with your Faith!

Thought for the Week: Every day and every week is in some way a milestone. There will be ups and downs; expectations will be met and we will sometimes fall short of our goals. With our faith in the forefront we can overcome the low points and move forward in a positive way.  

From friend in Christ Randolph Staten: :"LOVE is too STRONG and LIFE is too SHORT. (Much TOO short) You have to LOVE with your HEART and live with your FAITH"

 (Isaiah 40 vs. 29 & 30)
He gives strength to the weary
       and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
       and young men stumble and fall

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Also Ran!

Then the LORD said to Joshua,
“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
(Joshua 8 vs.1) 

            Being an also ran is a way of life. We rarely finish first. As many of you know I detest the famous Vince Lombardi quote, “Winning isn’t everything it is the only thing.” Here are some examples: My friend Pat McNamara qualified in four different Olympics and did not win a medal; my brother Wayne swam for years and was a national top ten in four events but never had a national championship; Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski played years for the Red Sox and never received a world series ring; and the list goes on! None of the above is a loser and all were or are proud of their accomplishments.

            In my personal instance, I have three triathlon trophies out of 28 races; a second, a third and an only! There was always someone faster until last Summer when no one else my age competed. Did I lose? Never. In each Triathlon that I did, in the last mile of the run I would well up with tears of joy from the shear pride in my accomplishment. The pain experienced during the run would go away, the legs would seem fresh again and the finishing sprint would feel and look great. Second, Third or twentieth did not matter; I was winning inside!

            Clint Purvis, the team chaplain for Florida State University’s football team under Bobby Bowden put it like this after a tough loss to Miami, “There is a huge difference between getting beat in a game and being a loser.” Clint reminded the team of the characteristics of being a winner: 

1.      A winner still remembers that God never forsakes his own.
2.      A winner must remember that it is always painful and costly to claim victory again.

3.      A winner will always remember the source of all his blessings.

(from Bobby Bowden’s Called to Coach, Howard Books, 2010 

            We rarely are number one but since God is always with us, we are always winners. 

Thought for Today: Today we will have battles we do not expect. With God’s help, let us be winners no matter which way the battle turns out! 

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, today we thank you for being with us at all times in every place. We thank you because when you are along we will be winners.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Overcoming Negatives.

Thought for the Week: We need to recognize the internal conflict in our lives. The conflict between our over committed “to do” lists and the time required to have personal growth. The concept is simple, we all want to be better in spirit, mind and body but we do not have the time. Our wants look like needs and our stress builds. Today let’s try placing the Lord first for a few minutes a day and try to feel the difference as we go through the day.
From Hope Solo, goaltender for the US women's soccer team: "I've always found myself to come out stronger than before. If you don't let something break you, you're going to come out stronger in the end."
(Proverbs 1:32/33)
For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Independence Day in the US

Thought for this Week: Let’s celebrate our independence by obeying the Lord’s commandments. 

Independence Day in the US 

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves
be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
(Galatians 5:1) 

            Independence is what makes America great and our many freedoms make this a great place to live. Our constitution is based on our ability to self govern. Below is what James Madison, our fourth President, had to say about our system.
"We have staked the whole of all our political Institutions upon the capacity of mankind for Self-Government, the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Pray about where we were then and where we are now. 

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, our country celebrates its independence. Our freedoms are based on your laws and our abilities to obey them. Today we pray for spiritual growth, honesty, integrity and ethics.